Progress in small doses

Started the quilting on the hockey quilt. I don’t usually do much walking foot quilting, nor do I usually simply outline block shapes, but that’s exactly how I began this project.

And when that part was done, you couldn’t even see it on the front!

I had to check the back to spot anywhere I might have missed!

Then I started in on adding additional quilting to the sections. I had some issues wrestling the whole quilt around on my machine and was momentarily discouraged. My lines were so wonky………………….yes, I usually have those uneven quilting lines, but these were really bad! And then I reminded myself that this was a drag-around quilt and it truly didn’t matter. At all! It simply needed to be quilted to hold it together. Wonky lines hold equally as well as straight lines and it absolutely shows the ‘hand of the artist.’

So I will continue in the wonky way and it should be finished soon. I have some free time this week and I’d like to stick to it until it’s done.

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Scrappy brights wrap-up

This pile of scraps was the start of the last scrappy bright quilt!

I was tired of these same fabrics before I started on my mission to use them up, and I’m totally sick of them now! But I got 5 baby quilt tops done from the fabric, so I feel good about that. I’ll put the pics in here, but they really look very much alike!

I probably should put a border on each one for a bit more stability, but I don’t have yardage of anything that would work. I do have a little bit of this scrap stuff left, but it’s in slightly larger chunks and I think I’ll throw that into the backs, or piece one back, and then I’ll be totally and completely done with these fabrics. Whew!

My goal is to get them backed and basted within the next week and quilted by the end of the summer. I still want to get my grandson’s hockey quilt quilted before summer is over, also. And, no, I don’t have a long-arm, so it’s wrestling everything on my domestic machine. It will take more than a couple of hours, but that’s why it’s called a goal!

The scrap mess is cleaned up and the table is cleared off.

I am ready for the next fabric adventure, whatever it may turn out to be!

 

Which direction to go?

Once there was a little stack of fabric that made it’s way upstairs to my table. I started putting little bits and pieces together and overlaying with gingko images. I liked where this was taking me and thought I would continue making the gingko images for quite a while.

Then this piece jumped into the series and it’s quite a bit different.

Really no place for a gingko here.

And the next pieces don’t seem to need a gingko image either.

The one on the left is only basted, but I don’t see anywhere for the gingko. So maybe the gingko series is done and I’m moving in another direction.

Maybe not, since I’m working with the same set of little fabric scraps and hand dyed squares…can’t wait to see what these little scraps direct me to do next!

Nothing planned…

Originally this was a week with nothing planned. It’s summer and we have our grandson on Tuesdays and Fridays so if we make a plan it revolves around that. We ended up with lunch with friends, car service appointments, and other necessary trips that kept us out of the house and me out of my sewing room! Can’t get too far on the huge pile of scraps that way!

The ONLY thing I stitched on this week was this little gingko.

I have so many bits and pieces of beautiful fabric and it’s a pleasure to re-visit them with these small studies. Not sure how they will be finished, but I’m leaning towards keeping groups together and mounting them to wool. I’m really enamored of the fringed edges of my other wool mounts.

And I have plenty of wool to play with!

Small bits of time…small pieces…maybe next week, with nothing planned again, I can get back to sewing up the big pile of scraps!

Roadblocks

Do you ever make your own roadblocks? I found myself doing that whenever I started thinking about all that bright fabric to use up. It was mostly leftovers from baby quilts and my mind kept thinking it had to stay as baby quilts—and there is enough fabric for at least 6 quilts that size!

And then I looked online for ideas and most of the advice started with “Decide what size you want your blocks to be…” I don’t necessarily create from blocks, but I got hung up on that phrase. Also advice to sew small pieces together and then keep adding to them. Not too conducive to using up those large chunks of fabric piled up on the table.

Finally, my brain kicked into my normal creative mode and I got started on the sewing. I make things from a stack/slash/sew method, not sew tiny to get bigger method! Easy then, to stack fabric and make some quick wonky strip sets.

I gave myself some ‘rules’ to follow on this project also. All cuts will be straight–yeah, wonky angles are fine, but no curvy piecing. No more than one piece of black in each set. And nothing…NOTHING…will be going back into the container this stuff came out of!

This part went super fast and I ended up with quite a large pile of strip sets, ready to go!

Then I started the slow, boring sewing of the small pieces. I made quite a bit of progress, but still have so far to go!

I had really hoped that I’d get much further than I did, but this type of sewing takes forever! You not only need to sew the small pieces together, but each pair needs to be pressed and trimmed to a straight edge before you can go on to the next step. On the other hand, it’s these pieces built from small to large that give so much charm to a scrap quilt!

My entire day was spent working on this and I’m not nearly ready to start putting pieces on the design wall for assembly decisions. As I sorted through and worked on the fabrics, though, there were some chunks that said ‘block size’ to me.

I may turn to a block style assembly and start with these. Maybe not all the same size, but square them up and use them ‘as is’ for even more variety.

Soooooo much more to do before I can make real design decisions, but at least I got over the roadblocks I set up for myself. Lots of fabric spread over the tables yet, and that is both a roadblock and an incentive. Can’t do anything else until this is out of the way, but the best way to get it out of the way is to get it sewn up!

Overwhelmed and almost defeated!

Yes, I am declaring myself officially scrap overwhelmed! I keep my scraps in baskets, roughly sorted into warm, cool and neutrals. Then there was the huge plastic tub of kinda sorted scraps that I told myself I was done with…and then kept throwing in project leftovers without any sorting. I kept tripping over that one so I figured I could get it sorted and cut into some strips and sewn up and truly done with! Hahahahaha!

This is sort of what it looked like when I started, but it’s actually another whole pile of fabric to be sorted that I used to use when I gave a talk.

After pressing a few things, I remembered that the box contained mainly bright fabrics that I had used in one way or another for baby quilts and I was tired of them. Here’s the stack of quite small pieces–enough for a baby quilt here by itself!

And the pile of larger pieces, all nicely pressed! Probably 2-3 baby quilts here.

A pile of all orange……….

And bright and black that I thought I might start each block with….

except now I have no idea what kind of block to make! My original idea was a log cabin kind with logs added only on two sides. Large and fast, probably but not good for using up those smaller pieces….which have lots of matching parts with the larger pieces. Sigh…………….obviously I need to do a little research and planning before I simply start cutting. I’m not likely to want everything all one size, even if my scrap sizes agreed with that idea. Ideally it would all go into one large quilt, since it all goes together.

And I thought using up my stash was hard with fat quarter and larger pieces….HA again! These smaller pieces are trouble and I can’t seem to bring myself to pitch it all or chop it up into dog bed stuffing or inflict it on someone else to figure out a solution.

Yep, overwhelmed and walked away for today. Cogitation needed! And maybe a glass of wine…………………………………………….sigh!

Always something new

It doesn’t matter how often I work on finishing a project in a particular way, there is always something new to try.

I like to mount my small pieces on canvas and I most often simply glue the piece to the painted canvas. Couldn’t be easier. Sometimes I mount the piece on a background piece of fabric and stretch it around the canvas. That’s what I decided to do on the small piece I was working on.

And then I decided to try something new. I had read that some people use a fusible web to attach their pieces to the canvas, so I thought I’d try it. I ironed a line of fusible to the back of the canvas, right on the wood. One example I saw used fusible on the sides of the canvas as well, but I decided to start with this little strip and see how it went.

The rest of the process is usually to pull the fabric to the back and staple it down. The difference here is that I could pull the fabric to the back and iron it in place! I finished the corners with staples and I think I could leave it like this.

However, my motto is never trust the glue, so I’ll add the staples around the sides, too. This made the process much easier and faster though, so I think I’ll be using the fusible again.

Here’s how the piece ended up, with a close up of the beads.

On another project, I also used up every scrap I could to piece the back of the hockey quilt. This little scrap is all that is left of the darker blue hockey fabric.

The other chunk of lighter fabric that I had, I simply centered it for the back and built around it.

It’s ready to be quilted, but the urgency to get it done has abated now that I’ve actually used up that hockey fabric. As long as I get it done by the time hockey starts in the fall, I’ll be satisfied. Oh, and AJ was quite surprised. He said, “You never told me anything about a hockey quilt. Cool.”

I think I have to give up sewing for a day, though, and take care of some necessary chores in the yard and in the house. Boooooring, but must be done!

Wonder what will jump out at me for the next project…hmmmm!